Ship Airwake Measurement System

Period of Performance: 07/01/2013 - 04/30/2014


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
Institution POC


Measurement surveys of full-scale ship airwakes are needed to validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of these wakes. Airwake computations guide the design of ship superstructures, improve the fidelity of flight simulators, and save time and reduce risk during flight tests to define launch and recovery envelopes for ship and aircraft combinations. Current full-scale test techniques involving mast mounted anemometers are costly and time-consuming, and they do not extend to the critical region aft of the ship s stern. We propose an autonomous ship airwake measurement system that is man-portable and may be set up and operated by a single person. Detailed measurements of the air velocity vectors above the flight deck and far into the wake region aft of the ship s stern are possible with this system. In Phase I, we will demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed approach with tests of critical aspects of the system both in our laboratory and in the field. In Phase II, we will develop, test, and validate a complete prototype of the system and demonstrate its performance and value in a field test. The system will then be ready for use by the Navy to map ship airwakes.